Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Caged Bird Does Not Sing, And There’s Good Reason Why That Is So


Many of us enjoy having pets of all kinds, from dogs and cats to gerbils, goldfish and birds. For many, owning a pet is a pleasure. Pets provide companionship and are fun to have around. But still, the experience of keeping animals contained within your home is not an issue that is always easily dealt with for some.

As well treated as your pet may be, the very act of domesticating animals that were once wild sets up a moral dilemma for some. Keeping a dog or cat in your home is one thing. Both, under the right circumstances, can be allowed outdoors to wander about to varying degrees. But for bird owners, the proposition of owning a feathered friend is more troubling. Most birds that are kept as pets are enclosed in a bird cage. And that by itself gives many who are conscious of animal rights pause.

Except on occasions when their cages are being cleaned, birds kept as pets usually stay inside their cages 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To many, this is a cruel form of solitary confinement that is hard to justify. While a bird cage is not exactly the equivalent of a prison cell, it does confine one or more of nature’s creatures to a space that is unnaturally small and restrictive, and is certainly in conflict with the natural environment to which birds are normally accustomed. To many, this act of restriction in itself constitutes animal cruelty, and is an inexcusable form of imprisonment.

In general, birds do not thrive when they are caged. Some domesticated birds, such as parrots are sometimes kept on perches and not confined to a cage. For many, that is a preferable way of handling the issue of keeping animals that should ideally be able to roam free or fly where they may.

Commonly used phrases, such as “free as a bird” demonstrate the conflicted sense of propriety we are always likely to foster whenever the topic of keeping a pet in a bird cage comes up. While birds are beautiful creatures that are a pleasure to have around one’s home, the feeling of justification that some experience when it comes to the act of limiting an animal’s natural freedom is off-putting to many.

For the most part, the birds that most people keep caged in their homes were captured from the wild, or were raised domestically as pets. In either case, both domestic production or capturing wild creatures and keeping them confined for our own amusement is considered by many to be a reprehensible act. Animals are innocent creatures that typically thrive in the wild, unless they have become so domesticated that they cannot survive outside of the artificial environment created by humans.

Birds can be kept in sunny, pleasant areas of your home, where a controlled temperature will ensure that your pet is never too cold or too warm. They can be fed good, healthful diets and even be allowed to fly free inside the home on occasion. All of this can create an environment that is quite a bit better than a “prison cell” for pets. Despite all of the good intentions, keep in mind that birds were born to fly freely, and keeping them in any cage is against their nature.




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Have a Chittering Good Day,


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